It’s time once again for Featured Blogger Friday. I’m really enjoying this feature, and the chance to get to know some of my favourite bloggers even better. This week I am delighted to welcome Karen Collum, Queensland author and blogger.
Firstly, why do you blog?
I blog partly as self-therapy and partly to be part of the community of children’s writers online. I find that blogging helps me clarify my own thoughts about the writing process and journey and is a way for me to really understand myself in relation to my writing. I also love the idea of being able to share something that might be of use to someone else one day.
What do you blog about?
I usually blog about all the ins and outs and ups and downs of the writing journey. I write about events I go to such as workshops or book launches, as well as my own personal journey. I’m a great believer in being honest about my experiences but I also try and be encouraging as well. There’s nothing worse than reading a writer’s blog that is full of negativity and pessimism.
Who is your target readership?
At the moment my target readership is fellow writers, specifically those who may be beginning writers. Not too long ago I was right at the start of my writing journey and I didn’t have a clue how to take the first step, or even what the first step was. I’d like to think that my readers are those people with a passion for children’s literature and an interest in being published themselves. As my books come out I will also be catering more for students and teachers and endeavour to provide them with useful and interesting information as well.
How often do you blog?
Ideally, I plan to blog once a week but as a stay-at-home mum to three pre-schoolers (with another baby on the way) I sometimes find it difficult. When the rest of my life is running smoothly, I usually keep to once a week but when something comes up (like morning sickness. Ugh!) then the blog is the first thing to be put on hold. I hope my readers bear with me, however! My life is just not that predictable right now.
How much time do you devote to blogging?
I usually spend an hour or so a week blogging. It’s a great way to de-stress and I find that I actually enjoy writing my posts.
Do you have a favourite blog post?
One of my favourite posts is all about my life-long passion for words. It wasn’t until I sat down and really thought about it that I realised just how deep-seated my love of words and writing is and the important role reading and writing have played in my life.
What do you see as the benefits of blogging?
Blogging gives me a voice, although I recognise my voice is one among millions. That said, it’s still MY voice and no-one else can say things just like I can. I see it as a way of welcoming potential readers, colleagues and possibly even editors and agents into my world and giving them an insight into not only my writing, but also who I am as a person. I think blogging is one of the best ways to develop relationships with like-minded people and often after I comment on another author’s blog I’ll find they’ve left a comment on mine. It really is a very friendly and civilised way to interact on a global scale.
What blogging platform do you use and why?
I am a huge fan of WordPress and even though I have a professionally designed website, it uses WordPress as a platform. I find it very easy to use and manipulate and after trying a few others first, I’ve found my blogging home for the foreseeable future.
Do you have a favourite blog to visit (other than your own)?
I absolutely love Kidlit.com, the blog of literary agent, Mary Kole. Mary provides great insight into the world of publishing in America and has some awesome advice to give.
Lastly, when you are not blogging, what else do you do?
When I’m not blogging I’m usually caring for my family and doing the mundane stuff like cooking meals and catching up on my neverending pile of washing. Throw in swimming lessons and gymnastics, along with taking my eldest son to Kinder 3 days a week and I spend a bit of time in the car as well. When I can grab a few moments, I try and work on my manuscripts. I mainly write picture books but I also have a couple of junior novels in the works and an adults sci-fi novel as well. I like to have multiple projects on the go but never seem to have enough time to finish any of them, except for picture books. And when I’m too tired to write, I read and read and read some more.
Thanks so much for dropping in, Karen.
Join us again next Friday for another featured blogger Friday.